The Penn State Nittany Lions are in very unfamiliar territory, preparing to enter a season without Joe Paterno at the helm for the first time since 1966.
Under new head coach Bill O'Brien, formerly the New England Patriots' offensive coordinator, the Nittany Lions will look to build on Paterno's mountain of gridiron success. In SB Nation's 2012 Preseason College Football Rankings BlogPoll, Penn State did not make the top 25 but did receive votes.
The Nittany Lions finished 34th in the poll, well behind the LSU Tigers, who came in first in the poll with 13 first-place votes. The USC Trojans garnered more first-place votes (14) than LSU but still finished second. The defending champion Alabama Crimson Tide finished third, followed in the top five by the Oregon Ducks and Oklahoma Sooners. The Georgia Bulldogs, Michigan Wolverines, Florida St. Seminoles, South Carolina Gamecocks and Arkansas Razorbacks rounded out the top 10.
For more on the Penn State Nittany Lions, be sure to head over to the SB Nation blog Black Shoe Diaries.